Sony Alpha DSLR-A100

I bought the Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 yesterday.

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Six years ago my in-laws gave us their Minolta Maxxum 5000, a 35mm SLR. They purchased it in 1985, when my husband was eleven, during a trip to Pennsylvania. I love that camera, for its history and the wonderful photographs it takes. I enjoy bringing the canister of film in to Blacks, and seeing the pictures for the first time when I slide them out of the slim black box an hour later.

Three years ago I purchased a Canon PowerShot A85, a digital point-and-shoot with manual control options. I wanted something I could tuck into the diaper bag, and the liberty to take as many 'free' shots as I wanted. The Minolta was neglected for a year. But when I printed off the digital photos and slotted them into the album, it was obvious that the Minolta images were far superior.

Back to the Minolta. However, I missed the immediate results and the editing ease which the Canon offered. I began to consider a digital SLR, and when the Canon's LCD crashed last week, I decided to take the plunge.

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As my life becomes increasingly busy, I have become very efficient at researching products. Hours of study and cost comparison is a luxury I can't afford. After an hour of online research, thirty minutes at Lens and Shutter, and a latte at Starbucks, I purchased the Sony A100. The runners-up were the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi and the Nikon D40x. The fact that I already have some fantastic Minolta lenses which are compatible with the Sony (who took over Minolta's camera line in 2006) was a major factor.

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I can't remember the last purchase about which I was this excited. The house, maybe? Last night I found myself wondering who I could call to tell about the camera. I was dismayed to learn that the battery would take 235 minutes to charge. And this morning, I woke up trying to remember the very good thing that I was going to get to do today.

I spent much of the day with the new camera, enjoying the solid feel of the body gripped in my hand, the clunk of the shutter, and the very satisfactory pictures it produced.

Lens and Shutter offers a 7-day return or 14-day exchange policy. I'm going to be busy putting this little machine through its paces in the next few days. Bear with me.